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Automatic detection of Moroccan coastal upwelling zones using sea surface temperature images

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An efficient unsupervised method is developed for automatic segmentation of the area covered by upwelling waters in the coastal ocean of Morocco using the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) satellite images. The proposed approach first uses the two popular unsupervised clustering techniques, k-means and fuzzy c-means (FCM), to provide different possible classifications to each SST image. Then several cluster validity indices are combined in order to determine the optimal number of clusters, followed by a cluster fusion scheme, which merges consecutive clusters to produce a first segmentation of upwelling area. The region-growing algorithm is then used to filter noisy residuals and to extract the final upwelling region. The performance of our algorithm is compared to a popular algorithm used to detect upwelling regions and is validated by an oceanographer over a database of 92 SST images covering each week of the years 2006 and 2007. The results show that our proposed method outperforms the latter algorithm, in terms of segmentation accuracy and computational efficiency.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Marine Fisheries, Higher Institute of Marine Fisheries (ISPM), Agadir, Morocco 2: Faculty of Science, LRIT Associated Unit to the CNRST, URAC 29, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco 3: Geometry & Statistics in acquisition data team, INRIA Bordeaux Sud-Ouest, Talence, France 4: Department of Oceanography, Climate and Fisheries, Royal Centre for Remote Sensing (CRTS), Rabat, Morocco 5: Faculty of Science, LABSIV Computer Science, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco

Publication date: April 3, 2019

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